Can a queen ever retire? In Part One of the Letitia Trilogy, Letitia, Queen of Melloria, is stuck in the aspic of a job-for-life, but that doesn't stop her dreaming of a restful retirement in the Caribbean. She schemes to undermine Princess Dawna, wife of her son, Crown Prince Catheter, whose natural beauty and unstoppable crowd appeal serve only to remind her of her own misery.
When the stuffy, tradition-bound regime of her husband, King Godfrey, is toppled by the ultra-leftist People's Party, headed by the slippery Paul Slamil, Letitia and her family, minus the exiled Dawna, are held in a former mental home. They escape with help from closet royalists, like journalist Arabella Scott-Natterson, only to be humiliatingly captured by the Slobodians. King Slobodan, their boorish ruler, pressures Godfrey into a game of Slobodian poker, the stakes being slavery or freedom. It ends with the turn of a friendly card.
Released from captivity, they fight a grueling election against Slamil and the People's Party. Dawna joins them and wins the presidency for Godfrey, only to fall to an assassin's bullet.
In the post-election turmoil, President Godfrey battles to restore the monarchy, until Scott-Natterson's expose of Craig, his 10-year-old bastard son by Sharon, a palace servant, forces his resignation and brings Letitia's longed-for dream of retirement tantalizingly close.
First, the successor to Melloria's crown must be decided between Catheter, out of favor because of his adultery with horsewoman Lucinda Limehouse-Blewit, and rank outsider Craig.
This melding of a Sue Townsend satire and a John Kennedy Toole caper is tinged with the melancholy, the mystique and the mercilessness of monarchy.
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Published November 26, 2012
by Trevor Veale.
Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction.